When the Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X first launched last year, they were plagued by issues of overheating and variable clock speeds. We looked at the situation several times over the course of a couple months and AMD tried to address the problem with newer drivers. These drivers did help stabilize clock speeds (and thus performance) of the reference built R9 290 and R9 290X cards but caused noise levels to increase as well.
The real solution was the release of custom cooled versions of the R9 290 and R9 290X from AMD partners like ASUS, MSI and others. The ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II model for example, ran cooler, quieter and more consistently than any of the numerous reference models we had our hands on.
But what about all those buyers that are still purchasing, or have already purchased, reference style R9 290 and 290X cards? Replacing the cooler on the card is the best choice and thanks to our friends at NZXT we have a unique solution that combines standard self contained water coolers meant for CPUs with a custom built GPU bracket.
Our quick test will utilize one of the reference R9 290 cards AMD sent along at launch and two specific NZXT products. The Kraken X40 is a standard CPU self contained water cooler that sells for $100 on Amazon.com. For our purposes though we are going to team it up with the Kraken G10, a $30 GPU-specific bracket that allows you to use the X40 (and other water coolers) on the Radeon R9 290.
Inside the box of the G10 you'll find an 80mm fan, a back plate, the bracket to attach the cooler to the GPU and all necessary installation hardware. The G10 will support a wide range of GPUs, though they are targeted towards the reference designs of each:
NVIDIA : GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770, 760, Titan, 680, 670, 660Ti, 660, 580, 570, 560Ti, 560, 560SE
AMD : R9 290X, 290, 280X*, 280*, 270X, 270 HD7970*, 7950*, 7870, 7850, 6970, 6950, 6870, 6850, 6790, 6770, 5870, 5850, 5830
That is pretty impressive but NZXT will caution you that custom designed boards may interfere.
The installation process begins by removing the original cooler which in this case just means a lot of small screws. Be careful when removing the screws on the actual heatsink retention bracket and alternate between screws to take it off evenly.
Introduction and Features
NZXT is introducing the H440 Mid-Tower case in their H Series line. The new H440 chassis will be available in two different color schemes; white with black accents and black with red accents. Both versions exhibit clean lines and a sleek design. Gone are the 5.25” optical drive bays and in their place you get three 120mm intake fans. In addition to providing excellent case cooling with four included fans the H440 is also very water-cooling friendly with support for water-cooling radiators on the top, front and rear of the case. The left side panel features a large acrylic window to showcase the motherboard area and the H440 can support up to eight internal 3.5”/2.5” HDDs/SSDs: 6+2.
NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Chassis
The lower section of the H440 case, which houses the power supply, is shrouded from view and provides a lot of room for cable management. The color accented shroud features a lighted NZXT logo and there are two LEDs built into the back panel to provide light when making connections; very nice.
The NZXT H440 Mid-Tower case comes with four NZXT FN V2 fans preinstalled: (3) 120mm intake fans in the front and (1) 140mm exhaust fan on the back. Dust filters are provided for the three front intake fans and also on the bottom of the case for the PSU intake fan. And up to three more 120mm fans (or two 140mm fans) can be added to the top panel if desired.
Here is what NZXT has to say about the H440 Mid-Tower case:
“The new H440 features a doorless, ODD-free front panel made entirely of steel while a large, full-view window reveals an interior specially engineered to make any build seamless and beautiful. The H440 ensures a hassle-free experience, allowing anybody to become an expert on clean cable management. The H440 comes standard with four of NZXT’s newly designed FN V2 case fans. An unheard of 3 x 120mm in front and 1 x 140mm in rear. And newly designed steel HDD drive trays can support up to eight internal 3.5”/2.5” HDDs/SSDs: 6+2. The H440 supports both 140mm and 120mm fans, the steel top and front panels come Kraken ready, fitting radiators up to 360mm in size to offer comprehensive water-cooling performance in a sleek, minimalist package.”
NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Key Features:
• Mid-tower PC case with sleek, clean styling
• Available in matte black with red accents or gloss white with black accents
• Four NZXT FN V2 case fans preinstalled
• Two removable dust filters (front intake and under PSU intake)
• Large side window
• Lighted NZXT logo on side and two LED lights on back panel
• Support for up to eight internal HDDs/SSDs
• Support for water-cooling radiators: front, top, and/or back
• Can mount radiators up to 360mm in length
• Cable routing cutouts with rubber grommets
• Large CPU backplate cut out for easy CPU cooler upgrades
• Top panel has 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 and audio in/out ports
• Thumbscrew side panel removal for quick access
• Supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards
• 2-Year warranty
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 16, 2014 - 02:42 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nzxt, h440, fn v2, 140mm
NZXT unveiled a new mid-tower chassis called the H440 that eschews the archaic 5.25” drive bays in favor of improved cooling and a simpler design. The PC case comes in two color schemes: white with black accents and black with red accents.
The new H440 measures 220mm x 510mm x 475.3mm (approximately 9” x 20” x 19”) and features a sleek design with a shrouded PSU and ample cable routing grommets. There are no 5.25” bays, but users can install up to eight 3.5” or 2.5” drives in removable sleds. There is a large cutout for installing aftermarket CPU coolers up to 180mm tall, seven PCI expansion slots, filtered vents on the front and rear, and support for up to seven fans. A massive side panel window shows off the hardware while hiding the PSU and hard drives along with the majority of cables coming off of the PSU. Users can install graphics cards up to 294mm with the hard drive sleds intact or 406.2mm with the drive sleds removed.
On the cooling front, NZXT is including one 140mm and three 120mm FN V2 fans with the case. The FN V2 fans are NZXT's latest design and driven by the company's fan controller. The case can support water cooling radiators on the top, front, and rear of the case or users can add to the included front and rear fans by installing up to three 120mm (or two 140mm) fans on the top of the case.
The NZXT H440 case has a flat front case panel, but there are filtered vents along the left and right side of the front panel to draw in air. The front IO panel consists of two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and two audio jacks. There is an LED-lit power button the left-front side of the H440.
The black and red SKU in particular looks rather sharp, and offers up useful features at a decent price.
Specifically, the new H440 will be available soon in two SKUs (CA-H440W-W1 and CA-H440W-M1) with a MSRP of $119.99 USD. The case comes with a 2 year warranty.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 12, 2013 - 04:03 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nzxt, kraken, gpu cooler
NZXT has a new cooling product coming out next week that caught my attention recently. Called the KRAKEN G10, it is a bracket and fan assembly that allows users to attach All In One (AIO) water coolers – those traditionally aimed at CPUs – to graphics cards. The Kraken G10 consists of a steel bracket with a CPU waterblock mounting hole, 92mm fan, and water tube routing space.
The Kraken G10 is a stylish approach to pairing cheap sealed water coolers to graphics cards with reference PCBs – a feat that has traditionally been limited to adventurous enthusiasts armed with zip ties and a good deal of patience. The bracket is compatible with many recent GPUs from both AMD and NVIDIA, and it allows enthusiasts to mount AIO water coolers from NZXT as well as other manufacturers. The water cooler is then able to efficiently cool the GPU while the pre-installed 92mm fan works to keep the VRM and memory areas of the graphics card cool. The G10 bracket measures 177 x 32.5 x 110.6 mm (WxHxD) and comes in white, black, or red with white fan blades and NZXT logos on the side and fan.
Specifically, the KRAKEN G10 supports the following graphics card models (with reference PCBs only).
Further, users can use the G10 to mount the waterblocks of the following sealed loop water coolers.
|KUHLER H2O 920V4||H110||KRAKEN X60||Water 3.0 Extreme||LQ-320|
|KUHLER H2O 620V4||H90||KRAKEN X40||Water 3.0 Pro||LQ-315|
|KUHLER H2O 920||H55||Water 3.0 Performer||LQ-310|
|KUHLER H2O 620||H50||Water 2.0 Extreme|
|Water 2.0 Pro|
|Water 2.0 Performer|
It is a niche, but useful, product that can allow users to more easily upgrade the cooling of their graphics cards to allow for higher overclocks and/or quieter operation. The NZXT KRAKEN G10 will be available on December 16, 2013 for $29.99 from NZXT’s website. Update: It appears the first batch of G10 brackets has sold out already. Fret not, a second batch of Kraken G10s will be available towards the middle of next month according to NZXT. (End of update.)
Are you planning to unleash the Kraken G10 on your GPUs (I expect crypto currency miners might be especially interested in this product heh).
Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2013 - 03:10 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, phantom 630, atx, side panel
NZXT launched the Phantom 630 case earlier this year for $180 in black, white, or gunmetal gray. Reportedly responding to enthusiast demand, NZXT announced a new version of the Phantom 630 with a larger acrylic side window.
The NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition is identical to the original Phantom 630 except for a side panel with a large acrylic side window that shows off the entire motherboard. It has curved corners and a diagonal right side.
NZXT states on the product page that “you have been asking for this for a while and we've delivered...” The company further claims that the Phantom 630 Windowed Edition presents “the same revolutionary, award-winning chassis that took bold innovation to the next level with a large side panel window. “
The Phantom 630 case measures 9.7x24.7x23.6" (245mm (W) x 627mm (H) x 600mm (D) ) and is constructed of SECC Steel and ABS plastic. The case supports four 5.25” drives, eight SSDs, and seven 140mm fans (with filtered intakes). You can read more about the case here.
The Phantom 630 Windowed Edition has an MSRP of $179.99. Alternatively, enthusiasts who already have the original Phantom 630 can upgrade to the larger side window by replacing the side panel--which will be available for purchase from NZXT in October for $29.99.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 19, 2013 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, H630 Silent, full tower
This case is not the cream colour that once graced the enclosures of computers everywhere but a very bright and clean white. The default cooling system consists of 200mm fans which help to keep the noise generated by the system at a minimum but you can choose to use 120 or 140mm fans as well as to mount radiators if you choose watercooling. At 245 x 547 x 567mm (9.6 x 21.5 x 22.3") you will be able to fit the tallest CPU coolers and longest GPUs without issue and the huge number of expansion bays should satisfy storage junkies. Thanks to the wide variety of toolless installation adapters and living up to the name silent, [H]ard|OCP gave this case a Silver Award; it is worth checking out if you are shopping for a full tower.
"NZXT leads its H630 charge with the key talking points of, "Clean. Modern. Silent." Surely we think these are thee things that many enthusiast look for when putting together a new system build. Its huge fan support, steel construction, and airflow qualities that are reported to be specifically engineered for silent high performance operation are reviewed here."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair's Obsidian Series 350D case @ The Tech Report
- Cooler Master N600 PC Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- NZXT H630 @ techPowerUp
- NZXT H630 Silent Ultra Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Lian Li PC-9N Review @ OCC/A>
- Thermaltake Chaser A31 Mid Tower @ Modders-Inc
- Aerocool XPredator X3 @ Hardware.info
- Corsair Obsidian 350D @ Techspot
- Phanteks Enthoo Primo @ Kitguru
- Coolermaster N400 Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Define XL R2 Computer Case @ Modders-Inc
- Phanteks Enthoo Primo Case @ AnandTech
- Corsair Carbide AIR 540 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NZXT H230 Classic Silent Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Corsair Carbide Series 330R Quiet Mid-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- Enermax Fulmo-ST Midi-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- Lian Li PC-TU100 M-ITX @ eTeknix
- COUGAR Dual-X LED Fans (140 & 120mm) Review @ Techgage
- Prolimatech Vortex Fan @ eTeknix
- Go Custom With The Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige @ eTeknix
- Silverstone Tundra TD02 & TD03 AiO Liquid Cooler Review @ HiTech Legion
- Deepcool Gamer Storm Assassin Heatsink Review @ Ninjalane
- SilverStone TD02 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Prolimatech Panther CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Prolimatech Samuel 17 Low Profile CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- SilverStone TD03 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Raijintek Ereboss CPU Cooler Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Prolimatech Black Megahalems CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 13, 2013 - 08:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, kraken, Kraken X40, Kraken X60
[H]ard|OCP recently tried out the two new Kraken coolers from NZXT, the non-i versions of the X40 and X60. The smaller X40 will possibly be more popular as its smaller size will allow it to be used in conjunction with more cases but the X60 should not be shunned just because it is big. You might shun it because of its higher price, arguably there are better coolers at the same price point. The X40 on the other hand walked away with a gold award as not only does it perform well, its price is similar to some high end air coolers. Check them out here.
"Pardon the cliche', but it must be done. NZXT RELEASES THE KRAKEN! Now since that is out of the way, we take a long [H]ard look at NZXT's new line of Kraken branded sealed system water coolers for your CPU. This type of cooler is quickly becoming the norm for many enthusiasts looking for a quick and easy cooling solution."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Closed Loop Cooler Roundup @ AnandTech
- Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Single Tower CPU Coolers Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Noctua NH-U14S & NH-U12S CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Thermaltake Urban S31 Mid Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Cooler Master Seidon 120XL CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Enermax ETS-T40-White Cluster CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Phanteks PH-TC12DX Cpu cooler @ Rbmods
- Cooler Master Seidon 120M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case @ Kitguru
- GELID The Black Edition CPU Cooler Review: Man in Black @ X-bit Labs
- Scythe Mugen 4 review: finally a good successor to the Mugen 2 @ Hardware.info
- Noctua NH-U12S @ techPowerUp
- First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek @ SPCR
- Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe @ SPCR
- Noctua NF-S12A Series Fans Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Silverstone Argon AR03 @ techPowerUp
- Cougar Spike @ techPowerUp
- Lian Li PC-Q12 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Cooler Master N200 Review @ OCC
- Corsair Obsidian 350D Windowed Edition Case @ Kitguru
- CM Storm Scout II review: too little, too late @ Hardware.info
- ENERMAX HOPLITE ST ECA3261-W ATX Case @ Modders-Inc
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2013 - 12:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, mid tower, h230, computex 2013, case
NZXT has kicked off the Computex 2013 coverage with the announcement of a new H230 mid-tower ATX case. Continuing the tradition of the H-series, the H230 is a minimalistic white or black design that incorporates sound dampening material and tool-free internal bays.
The outside of the case is simplistic, with vents and three 5.25” bays on the front. In keeping with the silent intentions, there is no case window here. Brushed aluminum case feet lift the case off of the floor. Two USB 3.0 ports and a single microphone audio jack are available as front IO.
The H230 is constructed of steel with some plastic parts. It measures 195mm x 447mm x 502mm and weighs 7.25kg (approximately 16 lbs.). There are two SKUs, CA-H230I-W1 in white and CA-H230I-B1 in black.
Internally, the H230 mid tower case features tool free drive bays that can accommodate up to 6 3.5” drives and 3 5.25” drives. It can fit GPUs up to 290mm in length with the hard drive cage installed or up to 400mm with the drive cage removed. Heatsinks up to 158mm in height are supported as are motherboards up to full ATX in size (with 7 PCI expansion slots). A bottom mounted PSU slot and cable management routed behind the motherboard tray are also features. Cooling options include up to two 120mm front intake fans, a single 120mm bottom intake fan, and a single 120mm rear exhaust fan. NZXT provides the 120mm exhaust fan with the case. In the press release, NZXT states that “Our designers had one goal in mind while crafting the H230: create an affordable, silent chassis with all of the necessary essentials for a clean, functional build. ”
The new H230 case comes with a 2-year warranty and has an MSRP of $69.99. More information is available on the H230 product page.
The full press release is below:
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 07:37 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, sentry, sentry mix 2, fan controller
NZXT has launched its new Sentry Mix 2 fan controller. Featuring an audio equipment theme, the Sentry Mix 2 fits into a single 5.25” bay. It features a matte black bezel with six glossy black sliders that are recessed into the bezel to ensure compatibility with PC case doors. Below the fan speed sliders are LEDs that can be changed to one of five colors (white, blue, green, orange, red).
The Mix 2 is the successor and replacement of the original Mix fan controller, and it uses a redesigned PCB. The controller has six sliders that are connected to six 4-pin fan outputs. The fan controller is powered by two 4-pin Molex power connectors and can draw a maximum of 180W. Each fan channel can draw a maximum of 30W. The sliders are analog rheostats that are also compatible with PWM controlled fans.
The Sentry Mix 2 comes with a 2 year warranty. The fan controller should be available soon with an MSRP of $29.99. More information can be found on NZXT’s website. As far as fan controllers go, I could see myself using this one as it keeps the LED bling to a minimum.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 8, 2013 - 01:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ultra tower, nzxt, h630, grid hub, case
NZXT has unleashed a monstrous new PC case onto the tech world with the H630 Ultra Tower. The new chassis is constructed of powder coated steel and ABS plastic. It can accommodate XL-ATX motherboards, two 360mm radiators, 8 hard drives, and a bunch of fans within its sound dampened interior. The H630 case weighs approximately 31 pounds and measures 547 x 245 x 567mm (HxWxD).
On the outside, the NZXT features a glossy white or black powder coated finish. You will not find any case windows or bling, but the design is clean and simple. It offers filtered fan intakes and an IO panel located on the right side with two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, and two audio ports as well as a SDXC card slot. Two 5.25” drive bays adorn the top-front of the case.
The inside of the case is rather spacious with an optical drive bay, three removable hard drive bays, an opening for a bottom mounted PSU, and a large motherboard tray that can hold boards up to XL-ATX in size. Water cooling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that they can mount a 360mm radiator in the top and front of the case, which is a pretty impressive feat without needing to use an externally-mounted rad (like I had to with my case). If you opt for additional air cooling, you can further fit two 140mm fans in the bottom of the case, one 140mm case in the HDD cage, and one 140mm case in the rear of the case. Needless to say, that’s a lot of cooling options!
NZXT has also outfitted the H630 with sound dampening material, which should help to soften the noise of all the hardware enthusiasts are likely to pack into the case--though I would wait for reviews to see how well the material works. Additionally, the H630 has 9 expansion slots, cable routing holes, the company's 10-port Grid fan hub, and two 2.5” SSD mounts hidden behind the motherboard tray.
The new H630 Ultra Tower should be available in the US for around $150 by the end of May and in the UK for £129.05 sometime in June. For the price, it seems like an impressive deal. I’m tempted, though I’m not sure if it will fit under my desk. You can find more photos and specifications on this NZXT product page.